Letters from Mike – The Paradox, More Mosquitos

by Michael Beebe – Rockport, Texas – USA

The Paradox

The Paradox is a sailboat, all of 13′ 10″ or so, in case you didn’t know. A stout little thing, stiff, forgiving, it’s a thin water wonder. I painted it a few months back. Hadn’t used it until yesterday and today. It’s been on the market, been for sale; but, no longer.

I’d made a concession with the owner, all along you thought it was me, no I’m just the care taker/benefactor. The owner said, something has gotta go. Actually, I dipped into the rainy day fund and it was time to re-inflate. So the wife was right, something indeed has to go.

I’ve had a good summer, as far as selling boats go, several have left the fleet. I’m whittling down some, trying to get the backyard down to three. The newest has to go, that would be the Hurly Silhouette, cute little thing, hell for stout, built to ole Lloyds of London specs. It’s a nice sailor, and it’ll belong to someone else in due time.

Here on this coast of Texas I’ve found I have to admit, a thin water boat is a must have for me. With the high winds and small craft warning alerts being issued they have me making plans with the Paradox, not the Silhouette. There in lies the reason for the keeping and the selling.

These last two days out on the Paradox has got me thinking again about some things I had wanted to try on the Paradox but were pushed aside pursuing a run-away-mind.

Whoa Nellie! Throw out the anchor. I’m glad the owner put her foot down, something has gotta go, it’ll be the Silhouette. The eyes are rolling, I can hear them rolling, no imagination, or is it envy? Ha! Doesn’t matter anyhow, no how.

Winter is coming and the directional changes of wind as well. I missed the first change, this next change comes this Tuesday with a good 15 with gusts to 23 or so. Small craft to be displayed. That’s out of the SSW. Over night the wind to clock around to the North, which means a sleigh ride north come Tuesday, spend the night at anchor, and ride the Norther back down into town. That’s the plan anyway.

I’ve learned as far as plans go, it’s always best to say, “I can’t tell you where I’m going, but I can tell you where I’ve been.” I’ll let you know.

More Mosquitos

Here I sit across from Rattlesnake Island on the other side of the Intracoastal waterway anchored in the mouth of a bayou; swatting mosquitos and wishing I had a fishing pole aboard.

The fish are feeding all around me, some sea gulls about, not many though. Earlier I saw a wild pig cruising the shore. Had I a shot gun with slugs I may have taken a shot. I think I need better planning. The centennial candle don’t seem to be doing its job this evening, another task will be netting to keep the bugs on the proper side.

The Bushnell tell me there are a few snow geese out across the way. Doesn’t surprise me being anchored off the Bird Preserve. Their honking gave them away. The fish are taunting me as well the mosquitos, I could but would not bring my Linda out here without 100% preparation being made and fool proof, otherwise, I certainly would be the fool.

Tonight will be fully clothed with a head net on. Not as bad as it seems this time of year, neigh on Christmas with Thanksgiving just over. I’ve had to sleep the same twice before, maybe more, in the middle of summer on coastal Texas. We call this fun.

Reminds me of a time the brothers, cousins , and a few friends climbed Mt. Whitney. Not I, they did. I met them at the trail head after the hike and shuttled them back to camp. They were much appreciative. Sitting round the fire that night a question was asked, ” How long will it be before we call this fun?” Same idea.

Sun is now down and time to start dinner. A little latter I’ll be doing a few boat chores in addition to cleaning up.

Tomorrow , or later tonight actually a norther is supposed to come in. Which, the plan being is, to ride it back to Rockport. Looking forward to it.

Well it’s 0300. The norther came in before I went to sleep. With it the temperature dropped and all the mosquitos left also. Went home to their warm little cuddy holes I guess, because the moment the temperature goes back up they’re johnny on the spot.

The tugs and barges have been few and far between, another thing sitting here in the mouth of this bayou with an anchor light a going, they aren’t shinning their spot lights on me as when in times past I anchored just out of the channel.

At my age I’ve learned I’ll never have it all together. If I ever think I’m even getting closer, there’s the proof in itself, self deception has set in. The more I learn the more I learn I really don’t know much at all.

At the moment, as I write this, let me describe my cocoon. The top hatch is drawn back and in place. The aft window is not in place, removed because the tiller extension pokes through, and in turn allows free entry of air movement, which tonight is refreshing.

The seat is tilted back as I’m sitting on the floor, I’ve a 4″ cushion for the back rest and another under me. If I wanted I could add another under me with two smaller ones on either side creating living room sofa type comfort here in a bayou.

Snuggled up, warm, dry, and comfortable. What’s not to like? Much better than at the beginning of the evening. The bad really makes the good good. The ride home was lumpy, bumpy, rolly, and gusty.

Sitting there on the dock waiting for Linda to come with the car and trailer, leaning back against a pile in the warm sun I about fell asleep, later that evening I was out at 6pm. Slept all night.


  1. having sailed for over 35 years in a boat drawing 30″ and currently cruising in a small trawler that needs 24″ i am looking fwd to having a boat or 2 that can function well in 6″-12″

    i know letting a child leave the nest is a bit traumatic butt making the decision to keep the little girl that can navigate thru/across your back yard was sound in this old mans humble opinion


    • Hello Steve, thanks. Things change rapidly here and the Paradox did leave after all to a nice fellow up in Ok. I did have a little 12 footer come back a few days ago, and the Lightning is soon to be launched, I’ll still have thin water boats on hand.

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